Following the amazing Yoshitomo Nara exhibition at Blum & Poe this January, LA is off to a bright year visually—despite the otherwise morbid outlook—with a show of new drawings by ANISH KAPOOR at REGEN PROJECTS in West Hollywood this month. The Turner Prize-winning London-based Indian artist is in fine form in this exhibition of medium and large-sized gorgeously pigmented gouache on paper abstract "drawings" that are meditative in both form and depth and a notable departure from his more visible sculptural and architectural projects of recent years. Of course writing about abstract art is like "dancing about architecture" and the show's accompanying artspeak does a far better job of just that:
"Anish Kapoor's work brings together the formal concerns of post-minimalism with an eastern spiritual sensibility and explores the relationship between physicality and transcendence. Each drawing is typically begun near the center of the paper and develops spontaneously. The drawings are direct expressions that stress the primacy of the mark and the hand of the artist. There is a raw, gestural, and visceral character on one hand and a sublime refinement and control on the other. Within these works there is a coexistence of opposites: a simultaneous play of glutinous and dry surface, negative and positive space, lightness and darkness, shadow and void, presence and absence, stasis and potential activity. This duality creates a tension between formalist structures and an engagement with deep metaphysical elements of philosophy. Space remains undefined as forms swirl and light alludes to the spaces beyond. The vivid and saturated colors illustrate Kapoor's understanding that color has the ability to transform feelings and provoke emotions while being a physical presence unto itself. These drawings represent a more private and personal side of his practice. Symbolism and modernist abstraction coalesce and illustrate a movement beyond the decorative into the sublime."
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Following up on our previous sneek peek at one of MARK DEAN VECA’s new wall paintings for his retrospective show opening this Thursday, January 29th at the UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY/UCSD, we've got a first look at the show's new interior "lounge" freshly painted by MDV himself. Providing a comprehensive overview of the Shreveport, Louisiana native & current Altadena resident’s creative oeuvre, “Mark Dean Veca: Painting, Wall Drawings and Collaborations” chronicles the diversity of the painter’s career from his early drawings and monochrome paintings to his creative collaborations with Nike, KAWS, Ford, and Burton Snowboards, before arriving at a selection of the artist’s stunning new work. The show will feature two intensely detailed wall paintings indoors & out exhibiting his signature style of graphic assault. In the words of curator Steve Mitchell, “Veca works in the meticulous tradition of the fresco painter to produce an image that paradoxically evokes the immediacy of the graffiti artist.” Keep an eye on ST for an MDV opening recap soon. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Mobile communications-loving street artist SKULLPHONE went sky high in Echo Park last week when this aerial homage to his billboard hijacking rampage in Hollywood last summer. Anyone who blinked missed it, of course. It was buffed less than 24 hours later. Keep your eyes peeled for more "interventions" coming soon...
Worshipers of the formerly ultra-hairy beast known as MARK RYDEN can get their stalk-on up close and personal at MOCA this Saturday between 3—5pm when the reclusive artist will be onsite signing copies of his brand spankin new "The Tree Show" book. For the uninitiated unfamiliar with former Ryden appearances, prepare yourself for an epic line of otaku fanboys and girls all patiently waiting their turn to have the master sign all manner of objects and flesh. In short, it's the people-watching event of the weekend bar none. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
NASTY NECK FACE has been a busy guy since touching down in Hollywood earlier this month, and today he unleashed his biggest bomb in LA to date on the front wall of Melrose streetwear hotspot BARRACUDA. Wrecking shop in a marathon eight hour painting session (almost like working a real job) in the subtropical weather that is our winter, the graffiti gremlin left behind a piece so bright it practically glows in the dark—and the day. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
It really does seem like only yesterday that ripping surfer chick and art connoisseur MARSEA GOLDBERG opened the doors to her NEW IMAGE ART GALLERY. In that time the West Hollywood hotspot has been a home (oftentimes literally) to a vast array of the underground art world's young upstarts and a proven incubator for talent that has nurtured the careers of Ed Templeton, Clare Rojas, Jo Jackson, Judith Supine, Tauba Auerbach, Matt Leines, Jeff Soto, Taylor McKimens, Chris Johanson, Phil Frost, Jordin Isip, The Date Farmers, David Ellis, Barry McGee, Ashley Macomber, Os Gemeos, Neck Face and Thomas Campbell, to name a few, all of whom are among the contributors to "15 Years," the space's impressive celebratory group show that opened on Saturday nite. Of course, LA's hipster elite turned out in full force to help mark the occasion, bolstered no doubt by a special live performance by rippers NO AGE and an endless supply of free booze. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
It'll be a rainy nite in LA this Saturday, but two shows are more than worthy of bundling up for on January 24:
NEW IMAGE ART "15 Years" celebrates the lifespan of this West Hollywood underground art institution that has helped birth the careers of a vast array of talent in its time, including Neck Face, Barry McGee, Rich Jacobs, Thomas Campbell, Ashley Macomber, Kelsey Brookes, Misaki Kawaii, The Date Farmers, and the Clayton Brothers, whose work, among others, will help celebrate the space. A special musical performance by No Age is not to be missed.
*7910 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood
CHAZ BOJORQUEZ "Graff Since '69" traces the oeuvre of LA's most important and vital graffiti writer and painter whose iconic skulls, "Señor Suerte" tag, and gorgeous lettering style have literally defined the genre for a legion of followers like Retina, and Mr. Cartoon. Doubling as Chaz' 60th Birthday celebration, the opening is sure to be an epic occasion.
*530 South Hewitt Street, Suite 141, Downtown LA
Artist, musician, vintage clothes horse, and curator AARON ROSE—best known for his traveling genre show "Beautiful Losers"—is no stranger to tears. With a band called The Sads, it comes as no surprise that his current show of painted objects—his first solo exhibition since 1992—should be called "Born to Cry." Installed at Echo Park's promising HOPE GALLERY, the show sees Rose's Mexican art influences channeled on the surfaces of a diverse array of stuff, from guitars, chairs, and suitcases to table lamps and tables themselves. Color is key in Rose's work, and the palette here radiates warmth, belying the sorrowful messaging (ie: "Too many teardrops for one heart") of his slogan-driven work. Affordable as the day is long, it's the perfect show to crack open the wallet at to bring a dose of much-needed color into the house in these trying times. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Supertouch's own RON ENGLISH has been a very busy man in LA and Seattle this week following his stop in DC to celebrate BARACK OBAMA's inauguration on Tuesday. Located at the corner of Pico & Fairfax in Hollywood, this newly "liberated" billboard features Ron's iconic "Abraham Obama" hybrid portrait created for the Big O's presidential campaign last year. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
In honor of the relocation of Supertouch homies RVCA to a massive new world HQ building in Costa Mesa, BARRY McGEE (aka: TWIST, Robert Pimple, Lydia Fong, etc.) made sure the building—also home to the brand-supported ANP QUARTERLY art magazine–was embellished in proper fashion.